They have probably just finished cleaning up the San Diego Convention Center and we already have our first casting rumor for an upcoming Marvel film–one that is sure to delight many a comic book fan out there.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog is stating that Anthony Mackie (8 Mile, The Hurt Locker) is in negotiations for a role in the forthcoming sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The blog believes that Mackie is being earmarked to play Sam Wilson, the man many comic book fans know as The Falcon.
The Falcon was created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan in Captain America #117 (September 1969) and was first African-American superheroes in comic books (Marvel created the Black Panther in the pages of Fantastic Four three years before, but he was the potentate of the fictional African country of Wakanda and not an American). He was so popular that he held co-billing with Captain America in the latter’s comic book from 1971 to 1978, and most recently co-starred with Cap in a 14-issue series in 2004.
It remains to which version of the Falcon will make it into the movie. In the mainstream Marvel continuity, Sam Wilson was a reformed criminal who was stranded on a remote island that was home to Nazi war criminals. When Captain America came to the island, Wilson joined him in fighting the Germans and protecting the native population. He would eventually return to the United States, reform his evil ways, and become one of Cap’s most trusted allies.
In the Ultimate line of Marvel Comics, Sam Wilson is a scientist and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who had previously served with Nick Fury in the army. He has shared adventures with the Ultimate version of Captain America, but has not become as close a partner as his mainstream Marvel counterpart.
Both Falcons are able to fly through the use of cybernetically controlled wings. The mainstream Marvel version of the character was also a mutant (Shhh! Don’t tell Fox!) who could telepathically communicate with birds, including his pet falcon, Redwing.
Of course, Heat Vision couldn’t get anyone at Marvel to confirm Mackie was in talks to play the Falcon, so this could all be speculation over nothing. But I really hope it is true. Mackie is a great actor and the Falcon is one of my favorite characters.